Will the Blair babe change domestic policy at No. 10? family

WITH CHERIE at 45 and Tony 46, the Blairs were not expecting to have to go through the upheaval of having another baby in the family.

Many women are now putting off having babies until they are in their late thirties or early forties so as to enable them to build up their careers and buy the expensive house, before being trapped by bringing up a family.

Motherhood in near middle age is still frowned on by the medical profession, but it is not unusual. The forty-something mums Cherie Blair will be joining include Jerry Hall, who this week was photographed with the Blair's neighbour, Gordon Brown, at a charity event in Downing Street, and the actress Patricia Hodge.

Tony can be counted on to play the role of doting father, who is likely to share in the ante-natal classes, and may even be there to hold her hand at the birth. Tony has increasingly allowed the lack of a normal family life for his other "kids" to grow on his mind.

"I would love to quit Number Ten for a family home," he once told a reporter. "We would prefer to live in our own home but it is not possible for security reasons. Home for me is where the family is. My kids are very easy. They are normal kids who have normal lives."

Like most Nineties fathers, he admits to being outplayed by the children at computer games, and to learning from them all about the Internet.

He made plain before flying out to South Africa for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference that he would be far happier spending the weekend "with the kids" than with the Queen, Thabo Mbeki and the other leaders of the Commonwealth.

Given the spotlight that is inevitably turned on the Prime Minister's children, the Blair "kids" - Euan, 15, Nicholas 14 and 11-year-old Kathryn appear to be remarkably well-adjusted, and "normal".

Euan and Nicholas like nothing better than a kickabout with their dad, who managed to keep the ball in the air in a heading stunt with Kevin Keegan a few years ago but the Blairs have made a point of trying to protect their children from exposure by the media.

The controversy over their choice of the Oratory School for Euan, rather than the local comprehensive in Islington, before the Blairs moved to Downing Street was followed by a bigger row this year when they found a place for Kathryn at the Sacred Heart High School. It was six miles from Whitehall and the Mail on Sunday claimed that they had received preferential treatment, angering some parents whose children had been rejected by the school. The Blairs took the unusual step of lodging a formal complain with the Press Complaints Commission, which produced a ground-breaking judgement in July which in future may protect the children of other rich and famous parents from intrusive reporting.

However, the Blairs have never tried to keep their children completely out of the view of the cameras. They were seen together on their family holiday last January in the Seychelles and again for this summer's holiday near Pisa, when the Italian authorities caused an international scene by clearing the beach so that the Blairs at play would not be disturbed by the paparazzi.

Adding a fourth child to their family may cause more than the usual disruption in Downing Street. The Blairs gave up their half-million-pound family house in Islington to move above the "shop" when dad became Prime Minister, but they quickly realised that the flat allocated to Prime Ministers in the past, including John Major and Margaret Thatcher, was totally inadequate for a young family. They did a swop with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and now live above Number Eleven, but having a baby in Downing Street could make the cramped accommodation more difficult for both the Blairs and Mr Brown.

The sleepless nights that go with parenthood may also make Tony's day job seem even more stressful, and the bags under the eyes that have grown deeper since May 1997, when the Blairs arrived to the gates of power with the children, are bound to become darker.

Cherie is also likely to have to give up her day job as a highly respected lawyer, specialising in employment law, to look after her baby, although the Nineties have seen the advent of the Nanny as the must-have ad-on to the perfect middle class family. The Blairs, given the staffing arrangements for the Prime Minister, are likely to be spared the need to build up points in a baby sitting cooperative. Mr Brown may be left looking after the baby for them.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable